What’s life actually like in real estate?
In an economy that has seen relatively uninterrupted growth for over twenty years, the real estate industry has benefitted hugely from this continuity and reliability in the market, no more so than in the the first half of this decade when property prices in the country’s major markets boomed.
Despite the effects of a weaker market over the past 18 months, the industry remains appealing for many. With an annual growth of 1.2% each year, employing nearly 140,000 Australians and worth $26 billion, the real estate industry is famous for producing passionate individuals. As we have seen in our ‘Life in real estate’ series so far, with weekend work almost a given for many in the industry, there needs to be that passion for helping people with some of the largest decisions they make in their lifetime.
This passion is what connects those we are speaking to as part of this series, and is nowhere more evident than with Jells Craig’s Jodie McCarthy. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, she is a great source for insight for those who are looking at the industry as a potential new career avenue.
What challenges you the most in your job, Jodie?
For me, it is definitely time management!
I think you have to have a real love or passion for what you do, you have to be self-driven and most of all, friendly!
Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in the real estate industry as a customer?
I bought my first property through a competitor, and we now work together. I always tell him I was cross with him for years for making me pay $5,000 more than I wanted. We laugh about it now and the $5,000 really didn’t matter at all in the long run! I have bought a few properties now and what sticks with me most is the service each agent provides. I think the after-sale service is just as (if not more) important to the purchaser.
What were your first few years like working in the real estate industry?
I started as a receptionist and then went into a sales PA role. Having great mentors and teachers really helped me gain momentum, I was working with positive people who loved their profession.
My main tip is to find a culture that you enjoy, working with people who are passionate about their work and their personal lives. To find this, you may have to change jobs. I also believe it’s never too early to employ a coach. I have studied with Dr. Fred Grosse for years and now I am being coached by him and Susan Weston.
Have you noticed the industry change in any tangible way?
Buyers are definitely savvier these days and there is so much more information at their fingertips. Buyers appreciate being treated with respect and honesty when it comes to pricing and the level of interest from other buyers. Often, if a buyer loves a property and really wants to buy it, then they are just looking for assistance on how to be the successful purchaser. Even with all the technology, real estate is often more of an emotional purchase.
Have there been any standout moments in your career in real estate so far?
In 2010 I spoke at the Australasian Real Estate Conference as part of a panel. The response from people was wonderfully overwhelming, particularly from other women. I received emails (and referrals) for months afterwards.
Do you have any specific philosophies or an ethos which helps you in your life and career?
I treat people how I want to be treated, with respect and kindness. I also think that if you do what you love and you’ll shine!
So what originally attracted you to Jellis Craig?
I have been at Jellis Craig for nearly eight years. I love that we are industry leaders, we have a great brand, the best branding and marketing, the most modern, new technology and programs for us to use. I feel that my colleagues work with integrity and this culture stems from the top!